Friday, January 25, 2013

Homemade Grape Juice

Last Fall we had a neighbor call and offer us her grapes. She planted them years ago when her kids were all home and she doesn't use the juice nearly so quickly any more with just her and her husband at home. I've learned that when people know that you will use the fruit, they offer it free all the time. Most people don't like to see things go to waste so they love to share if they aren't going to get to preserving it themselves. Grape juice is about the easiest thing to preserve. My parents grow grapes and so I always grew up with homemade juice. I knew it was easy to do. So the kids and I went over to pick the grapes.

The first step is to wash the grapes and break off most of their stems. Then place them in the top of a steam juicer.

Fill the bottom pan with water and bring to a boil. We always do ours on the back porch.

For a great step-by-step tutorial, check out this article.

Now we are enjoying our work. To make grape juice, pour the bottle of concentrated juice into a picture. 

Add 1 1/2 to 2 jars of water. This depends on the grapes from year to year. Some years they have a stronger flavor than others. The key is to do it to taste.

Add sugar or whatever other sweetener you prefer, again do it to taste.

Stir to combine and then serve.

This quart of concentrate made 3 quarts of juice.

We bottled up 36 quarts from what we picked so we will be able to enjoy grape juice for lots of meals before we run out. It also makes delicious grape jelly and syrup. 

If you are looking for something that is easy to grow, maintain, and preserve give grapes a try.

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